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Approximately 8 Hours
Meals not included
Giant Buddha statues welcome you to the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, a one-hour drive from Kaohsiung. Founded in 1967 by the venerable master Hsing Yun, Fo Guang Shan is the best known Buddhist center in southern Taiwan and is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
Continue to the Buddha Memorial Center, covering more than 247 acres. The design of the Buddha Memorial Center is inspired by both an Indian stupa and the Mahabodhi Temple inside the Bodhgaya religious site in India. Above it sits the world’s tallest bronze sitting Buddha statue. The center opened in 2011 and was designed to promote cultural and religious education. Four stupas symbolize the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, while the eight Chinese pavilions denote the Eightfold Path. The last remaining of Buddha's teeth is housed in a special shrine within.
After a vegetarian lunch, board your coach for the return drive to Kaohsiung.
Visit Lotus Lake for a closer look at Taiwan's knack for synthesizing old and new. The pagodas, pavilions and temples here all boast classical architecture, yet the oldest dates back only to 1951. Explore the Spring and Autumn Pavilions dedicated to the God of War. The graceful Dragon and Tiger Pagodas feature interiors decorated with paintings depicting China's 24 Obedient Sons.
The Tzu-Chi Temple is a magnificent Taoist shrine. Completed in the 1970s, it boasts an interior filled with wildly fantastic depictions of the pantheon of Taoist deities.
Before heading back to port, you'll pause at the Kaohsiung Martyrs' Shrine originally built during Japanese rule but spruced up in Chinese style in the 1970s and expanded to reflect Taiwan's complicated recent and ancient history. The front of the Shrine is covered in greenery and embraces a beautiful view of the harbor below.